The sun was beaming down on the paddock here at Kingston SE, South Australia for Round 8 of the Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC). Track conditions were pristine to kick off the penultimate weekend, and it would be Daniel Milner (E3), Daniel Sanders (E2), Luke Styke (E1) and Michael Driscoll (EJ) who took out class victories.
Its been a familiar sight this season for the four riders mentioned above, they have all lead from the front and today was no different around the YZF450 test. It was five kilometres of flowing grass track with a good mix of sandy terrain with a few tight and technical bush sections.
Milner was once again simply in a class of his own aboard his KTM, he stopped the clock at 58:44.297 after completing nine laps. After a nasty fall during the third test, Milner still had his composure and came away with yet another E3 victory.
It was another win, but Milner had to work for it; “It was a solid win today, it actually got quite difficult out there throughout the day. I had a good cartwheel on the third lap after going into the corner to hot, but after that I pushed to remain smooth and clean and finish well,” said Milner.
Finishing behind Milner was once again Lachlan Stanford aboard his Husqvarna who completed the nine laps with a time of 1:02:25.285. Stanford continued his consistent season that has only seen him miss the podium on one occasion this season.
Rounding out the podium in the E3 class was Broc Grabham on his Gas Gas, who makes a welcome return to the podium here at Kingston SE. His time of 1:03:29.791 left him ten seconds ahead of Andrew Wilksch on his Sherco in fourth.
AORC Round 8 E3 Provisional Results
- Daniel Milner (KTM Enduro Off-Road Team) 58:44.297
- Lachlan Stanford (Husqvarna Enduro Off-Road Team) 1:02:25.285
- Broc Grabham 1:03:29.791
- Andrew Wilksch (Motul Pirelli Sherco Off-Road Team) 1:03:39.909
- Jesse Lawton 1:04:43.551
Continuing his undefeated run in the E2 class was Sanders aboard his Husqvarna, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Sanders out on the track, finishing the day with a few battle scars in a hard-earned victory.
His time of 59:00.645 was enough to keep Wil Ruprecht at a safe distance; “It was a pretty good run for me today, I had a bit of pressure on me in the class from Wil who kept me on my toes finishing in second for most of the tests today. It was good to have a consistent day and take the class win, we now look forward to tomorrow,” finished Sanders.
Ruprecht has had a frustrating 2018 season to date with multiple shoulder injuries, but today he found the form many come to expect for the Yamaha rider, grabbing second in the E2 class with his effort of 1:00:16.082.
Lyndon Snodgrass continues to improve aboard his KTM after moving from the E3 class down to E2 for season 2018, collecting the last spot on the podium with a time of 1:00:55.865.
AORC Round 8 E2 Provisional Results
- Daniel Sanders (Husqvarna Enduro Off-Road Team) 59:00.645
- Wil Ruprecht (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) 1:00:16.082
- Lyndon Snodgrass (KTM Enduro Off-Road Team) 1:00:55.865
- Joshua Green (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) 1:01:08.709
- Beau Ralston (Actie8 Yamaha Yamalube) 1:02:49.186
After making the cross from motocross to off-roads, Styke has looked completely at home picking up yet another E1 victory. The Yamaha rider got out of the blocks well in the first few tests and didn’t look back, collecting a final time of 1:00:35.392.
Finishing behind Styke was Fraser Higlett aboard his Husqvarna, who has shown great improvement during his first season in the E1 class. Higlett registered a time of 1:01:54.958 to put himself right in the mix.
Rounding out the podium was the birthday boy Jeremy Carpentier who ended todays sprints with a time of 1:03:42.378. The Yamaha rider gave himself a birthday present by finishing on the podium and showing he is starting to come to grips with the Australian conditions.
AORC Round 8 E1 Provisional Results
- Luke Styke (Active8 Yamaha Yamalube) 1:00:35.392
- Fraser Higlett (Husqvarna Enduro Off-Road Team) 1:01:54.958
- Jeremy Carpentier (Yamaha MX Store Ballards Off-Road Team) 1:03:42.378
- Jack Simpson 1:05:18.374
- Brad Hardaker 1:06:23.545
The defending champion is looking to goods once again, Driscoll took out his eighth win of the season from as many starts. Driscoll set the tone on his Yamaha from the first test of the day, registering the only test time in the six-minute barrier. He ended the day with a time of 1:01:51.711.
“It was pretty good out there, it was quite a tough track, but I really enjoyed the challenge and just happy to take another win. I’m looking forward to backing it up again tomorrow,” said Driscoll.
Grabbing second place for the day was Husqvarna’s Joshua Brierley who is really cementing himself as the challenger to Driscoll’s undefeated season, registering a time of 1:04:09.735.
In another cameo appearance here at the AORC, motocross prodigy Mason Semmens was back at it and rounding out the podium on his KTM after clocking a 1:04:19.286. To add to the motocross flavour MX Nationals rider Callum Norton made his first AORC appearance and grabbed fourth in the EJ class.
AORC Round 8 EJ Provisional Results
- Michael Drsicoll (bLU cRu Off-Road Team) 1:01:51.711
- Joshua Brierley 1:04:09.735
- Mason Semmens 1:04:19.286
- Callum Norton 1:04:20.182
- William Price 1:06:48:981
The riders are back in action again tomorrow here at Kingston SE for Round 9, with another day full of sprints.
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2018 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the brand new AORC website at www.aorc.org.au! or by following the AORC on Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram. Don’t forget to download the brand new AORC App via Team App*.
Photos courtesy of John Pearson Media